Civil Rights Bureau

STAFF DIRECTORY

Tonnette R. Harris, JD - Bureau director

Tonnette Harris
Ph: 515-233-7970
Email: Tonnette.Harris@iowadot.us
  • Civil Rights Bureau Director



Tonnette Harris: is the inaugural Director of the Civil Rights Bureau within Administrative Services Division. Prior to joining the Iowa DOT, Tonnette worked at the Virginia DOT as a Civil Rights Manager in the Culpeper District. She has over sixteen years of experience in the areas of civil rights, affirmative action, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Tonnette earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arkansas.

She serves as a member of the MAASTO Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the AASHTO Civil Rights Committee. Additionally, she serves as the co-chair of the Iowa DOT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce.

Tonnette has a passion for civil rights, a willingness to listen, and a desire to collaborate with others to advance civil rights in transportation. She is a proud mother of her son, and she also enjoys traveling and working with the youth ministry.


Yareli Mendoza, EXTERNAL CIVIL RIGHTS ADMINISTRATOR

Yareli Mendoza
Ph: 515-239-1427
Email: Yareli.Mendoza@iowadot.us
  • On-the-job training coordinator
  • Females and Minorities in Highway Construction Training Program
  • DBE/ACDBE/ESB supportive services
  • Small Business Certification Prompt pay complaints
  • Civil Rights complaints
  • Disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) good faith effort

Yareli Reeve-Mendoza: joined the Iowa DOT in August 2020 as the External Civil Rights Program Administration. Yareli is currently enrolled at the University of Iowa, College of Education where she is pursuing a PhD in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies. She hails from California where she received a Master's in Public Administration and BA in Political Science from California State University Fullerton. During her higher education tenure, she has served in various capacities serving the student veteran population on college campuses. Ms. Reeve-Mendoza served in the United States Air Force as Security Forces, she deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan where she executed security-based missions.


NIKITA RAINEY, CONTRACT COMPLIANCE OFFICER

Nikita Rainey
PH: 515-239-1304
Email: nikita.rainey@iowadot.us
  • Title VI compliance
  • EEO/AA contractor compliance
  • DBE certifications
  • DBE/Airport concessionaire disadvantaged business enterprise (ACDBE) certifications
  • Electronic records management system (ERMS)

Nikita “Nicki” Rainey: is a Civil Rights Compliance Officer with the Iowa Department of Transportation, Civil Rights Bureau. She has been with the Iowa DOT since July 11, 2011. She is responsible for developing, implementing, coordinating and providing technical assistance to internal and external customers doing business with the Iowa DOT ensuring compliance with 49 CFR § 23 & 26 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements as well as certifying Small Business Development Contractors. Prior to joining the Iowa DOT, she was the Business & Project Administrator for Pauline Company, Inc. (a DBE heavy-highway construction company), and W.C. Stokes Estates/Stokes Development, LLC (Section 42 housing developer), for 21 years. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting with a Minor Emphasis in Human Resources and has completed several graduate level courses in the Master of Public Policy and School Counseling Programs.


Steve Kerber, contract compliance officer

Steven Kerber
PH: 515-239-1483
Email: steven.kerber@dot.iowa.gov
  • Title VI compliance
  • EEO/AA contractor compliance


Steve Kerber: is employed as an Affirmative Action Compliance Officer in the Civil Rights Bureau of the IA DOT. He began employment with the IA DOT Bureau in October of 2012. Prior to that, Kerber was employed as an Adult Services Supports Administrator with two Counties in Southern Iowa.

The Affirmative Action Compliance Officer’s Title VI responsibilities includes monitoring other civil rights provisions of federal statues and other related authorities to the extent that theyprohibit discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The purpose of outreach training is to provide cities, counties, municipalities with information and guidance on Title VI.

Kerber received a Bachelor of Arts in history/literature from the University of Iowa and has earned graduate work credits in Public Administration through Iowa State University. He also has considerable legal administration and research skills through training and service experiences with the United States Naval Reserve.

Kerber has attended and completed Face2Face Communication Courses, Leadership4Change Courses, and several Team Building Courses that have been offered through the IA DOT. Kerber has also attended and completed Federal Transit Authority “PASS” Training, Federal Highway Administration ADA Advocacy Training, and Human Trafficking Awareness Training. Kerber continues to be interested in American and European Histories from the 20th Century forward. His studies continue to be a connection to his personnel and professional commitments to an inclusive and open communities for all.


TRACEY BRADLEY, CONTRACT COMPLIANCE OFFICER

Tracey Bradley
Ph: 515-239-1833
Email: tracey.bradley@iowadot.us
  • Title VI compliance
  • EEO/AA contractor compliance


Tracey Bradley: Affirmative Action Compliance Officer, started employment July 2017, with the Iowa Department of Transportation, Civil Rights Bureau, assigned to the Title VI and Contractor Compliance programs. Major duties and responsibilities include conduct Title VI and Contractor Compliance Reviews, approve Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action policies,develop Title VI Informational materials, serve as the Title VI Liaison for all localities, and provide Civil Rights training as it relates to transportation programs and activities.

Danny Wagener, DBE compliance officer

Danny Wagener
Ph: 515-239-1422
Fax: 515-817-6502
Email: danny.wagener@iowadot.us
  • DBE certifications
  • DBE directory and amendments
  • DBE truck roster DBE goal setting
  • Administers Construction Industry Training (CIT) Program
  • Electronic records management system (ERMS)
  • DBE/Airport concessionaire disadvantaged business enterprise (ACDBE) certifications

Danny Wagener: A Civil Rights Compliance Officer with the Iowa Department of Transportation, Civil Rights Bureau. He has been with the Iowa DOT since December, 2016. He is primarily responsible certifying new Disadvantage Business Enterprises (DBE), conducting their annual reviews, managing the DBE Truck Roster, and administering the Construction Industry Training (CIT) Fund. Prior to joining the Iowa DOT, he was a Civil Rights Specialist with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission for eight years. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies and a Master of Public Policy.


Natalia V. Ríos Martínez- Intern

Natalia V. Ríos Martínez
Ph: 515-441-5998
Email: natalia.martinez@iowadot.us
  • Research Title VI, ADA, and DBE programs statutory principles, organizational methods for maintaining and updating procedural manuals with current regulatory information. 
  • Prepare standard CRR/LPA- 1391/1392 data reports. 
  • Prepare draft markups for record maintenance and assist in establishing benchmarks and internal controls. 
  • Analyze informational reports and survey data for accuracy, completeness, and consistency. 
  • Translate materials from English to Spanish. Compile law material in multiple languages from other federal agencies. 
  • Assemble and analyze recruitment tactics and strategic data to suggest changes in the Affirmative Action Plan. 
  • Participate in Title VI Reviews with companies across Iowa. 
  • Audit our website to make it ADA accessible.  

Natalia V. Ríos Martínez: Natalia was born in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. She joined the Civil Rights Bureau as an intern in August of 2020 and is currently pursuing a triple major in Political Science, International Studies, and Public Relations at Iowa State University. Natalia is passionate about civil rights, justice, and equal opportunity. Feel free to reach out to her with questions or concerns in order to find the best way to support you.


Jensen Wilke - Intern

Jensen Wilke
Ph: 641-757-9740
Email: jensen.wilke@iowadot.us

  • Research Title VI, ADA, and DBE programs statutory principles, organizational methods for maintaining and updating procedural manuals with current regulatory information.
  • Analyze informational reports and survey data for accuracy, completeness, and consistency.
  • Participate in Title VI and Contractor Compliance Reviews with companies across Iowa.
  • Audit our website to make it ADA accessible.
  • Assist the team on specific ongoing projects or independent tasks related to the Bureau.

Jensen Wilke: Jensen is an intern within the Civil Rights Bureau at the Iowa DOT, and she joined the team in May of 2021. She is a senior at Iowa State University studying Speech Communication, with secondary studies in Spanish and Performing Arts. In her professional career, Jensen wants to create opportunities for others through the fields of social services or civil rights. She has a passion for advocacy. Jensen enjoys devoting her time to extracurriculars while school is in session, including volunteering and participating in theatre. She is extremely excited to be on the team and looks forward to offering her skills and experience while learning more about civil rights and serving the Iowa Department of Transportation.

James Ward - Intern

Ph: 319-429-6988
Email: james.ward@iowadot.us

  • Research Title VI, ADA, and DBE programs statutory principles, organizational methods for maintaining and updating procedural manuals with current regulatory information.
  • Analyze informational reports and survey data for accuracy, completeness, and consistency.
  • Participate in Title VI and Contractor Compliance Reviews with companies across Iowa.
  • Audit our website to make it ADA accessible.
  • Assist the team on specific ongoing projects or independent tasks related to the Bureau.


James Cody Ward: James joined the Civil Rights Bureau as an intern in May of 2021. Cody was born in the state of Georgia but moved to Iowa during the summer of 2009. He is working on attaining his bachelor’s degree in Management on the Human Resource track at Iowa State University. While new to the department and the field, he is passionate about civil rights, equality, justice, and equal opportunities for all. While not working, Cody likes to read and spend time with family, friends, and his dog.


Federal and state laws prohibit employment and/or public accommodation discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and retaliation. If you believe you have been discriminated against, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission at 800-457-4416 or Iowa Department of Transportation's affirmative action officer. If you need accommodations because of a disability to access the Iowa Department of Transportation's services, contact the agency's civil rights/ADA coordinator, Tonnette Harris in the Civil Rights Bureau, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50010 or at 515-233-7970. TTY/TDD: 515-233-7970